How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks (in Under 60 Minutes)

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This copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe can be on your table in less than an hour.

Does anyone go to Olive Garden for anything other than the endless breadsticks? OK, we’ll admit the Zuppa Toscana is pretty tasty and the Alfredo is pretty darn good, too…and of course, the chicken Parmesan.

What were we talking about again? Oh! Yes, the breadsticks.

Recreate the magic at home, with our quick copycat Olive Garden breadsticks recipe (or one of these official Olive Garden recipes). You can have a basket of breadsticks fresh from the oven in less than 60 minutes.

How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

measured out ingredient for Olive Garden BreadsticksLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-1/2 cups high-quality all-purpose flour or bread flour

For the garlic topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon popcorn salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Essential Tools

  • Baking sheet: Quality bakeware doesn’t have to break the bank. Taste of Home baking sheets have a special embossed design that strengthens the pan and promotes airflow for even baking.
  • Food scale: Not just for breadsticks, a digital food scale is a crucial item to have in your kitchen for accurate and consistent baking. We always recommend weighing your ingredients, especially flour.
  • Pastry brush: How else are you going to baste those golden breadsticks with garlic butter? Pick up an affordable pastry brush for this recipe and use it again when slathering ribs or chicken with homemade barbecue sauce.

Directions

Step 1: Preheat and prepare

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2: Melt butter and warm milk

melting butter and measuring temperature with a thermometerLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then, stir in the milk and warm to 105-112°F. Alternatively, you may also melt and warm the milk in the microwave for 30-60 seconds at 50% power.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t overheat the milk mixture. Doing so will kill the yeast and inhibit your dough from rising sufficiently.

Step 3: Combine with yeast and sugar

Next, add the yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Slowly add the warmed milk to the yeast and sugar and gently stir to combine.

Editor’s Tip: If you’re using instant yeast, you can move on to the next step. If using active dry yeast, let the yeast, sugar and milk/butter mixture proof for five minutes until foamy. Then, proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Add egg and dry ingredients

mixing bread stick dough in a stand up mixer with a small glass bowl of flour next to itLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Next, with your stand mixer on its lowest speed, stir in the egg and salt before adding in 2-1/2 cups (300g) of flour. Continue to mix, adding the remaining 1 cup (120g) of flour until dough clings to the hook and the sides of the bowl are clean. The dough should be smooth and soft.

Step 5: Knead

Increase your mixer to its second speed and knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. Alternately, you may knead by hand for 6-8 minutes.

Step 6: Shape

Olive Garden Breadsticks 012721 Toh 07 Lauren Habermehl For Toh Jvedit2Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, approximately 65 grams each.

Then shape the dough into 12 breadsticks, and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet(s).

Step 7: Proof

Olive Garden Breadsticks 012721 Toh 08 Lauren Habermehl For Toh JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough proof for 10-15 minutes in a warm place. The breadsticks should rise and puff slightly during this period.

Editor’s Tip: If you have a proof setting on your oven, feel free to use it for this step.

Step 8: Bake

Olive Garden Breadsticks 012721 Toh 11 Lauren Habermehl For Toh JveditjpgLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Uncover the breadsticks and transfer them to the preheated oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 9: Make the garlic butter

While the breadsticks are baking, prepare the garlic butter by melting the butter on your stovetop or in the microwave. Remove from heat and then stir in the salt and garlic powder. Set aside.

Step 10: Baste

Remove the breadsticks from the oven when golden, and immediately baste with the melted garlic butter. Serve warm with copycat Olive Garden soup and salad.

Tips for Making Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

Finished Olive Garden Breadsticks with a side of sauceLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

How can you tell if your yeast is good to use?

First, check on the expiration date on your package. If the yeast is far past that date, it won’t be any good. Then be sure to proof your yeast by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar to a packet of yeast mixed with 1/4 cup of warm water. After 10 minutes, if the yeast is bubbly and aromatic, then it is active and good to use.

What can you serve with copycat Olive Garden breadsticks?

Enjoy these breadsticks on their own or with any one of our favorite Olive Garden copycat recipes. We especially love them with our copycat Olive Garden soup and salad and this copycat shrimp scampi.

How should you store copycat Olive Garden breadsticks?

In the unlikely event of leftover breadsticks, store them at room temperature in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 days.

To reheat copycat Olive Garden breadsticks, wrap them loosely in foil and warm them in a 350° oven for 5-8 minutes until heated through. Baste with additional melted butter and serve.

Can you freeze copycat Olive Garden breadsticks?

These breadsticks are also an excellent make-ahead side to keep in the freezer so you can enjoy Olive Garden breadsticks whenever the craving strikes.

To freeze, wrap the breadsticks tightly in plastic followed by a layer of foil. Pop the breadsticks into a freezer bag and store them for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and then reheat as directed above.

Editor’s Tip: Make sure to cool the breadsticks completely before freezing. This will prevent them from becoming soggy or moldy when they thaw.

You may reheat frozen breadsticks by warming them in a 350° oven on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Tent with foil to prevent them from over-browning.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.